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Editor's Comment: Can you afford not to have a sustainability strategy?

As the House of Fraser saga rumbles on and the repercussions continue to hit suppliers, there is much debate about who should be held accountable for the department store chain’s demise. 

New HoF owner Mike Ashley has called for its former directors to face an Insolvency Service inquiry, claiming they “misled” suppliers and warehouse operators. It comes as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announces new proposals to crack down on directors of dissolved companies who seek to avoid their pension or payroll liabilities. 

I’ve had thought-provoking conversations with some of you over the past few weeks about how to improve the system. Please do keep sending me your comments and ideas, as this is something we will be investigating further. 

In happier news, this week we launch an event focused on one of the fastest-growing areas of the industry: sustainability. For many years, sustainable fashion was dismissed as a fad. However, consumers are driving a change in approach.

Our new one-day event will help you explore ways to become more sustainable. Importantly, it will also look at how this will help to boost your bottom line. Sustainability is often seen as coming at a financial cost, which, of course, can be offputting for many fashion leaders.

However, the question today is: can you afford NOT to have a sustainability strategy? I believe taking a sustainable approach can support a company’s long-term growth, as well as increasing its appeal to the global consumer. 

At every fashion event I go to these days I meet an entrepreneur who has launched a sustainable fashion brand. It is reminiscent of a few years ago when there was an abundance of tech start-up launches. However, as with any new business, these brands will not just have to prove their sustainable credentials, but also ensure they have the right product, and a clear brand handwriting that appeals to the consumer.

The reverse is also true: product comes first, but if businesses are not talking about their sustainable credentials, they will get left behind.

To register your interest to attend Sustainable Fashion 2019, go to  

Readers' comments (2)

  • Gracious Store

    "However, the question today is: can you afford NOT to have a sustainability strategy?" Any company without sustainability plan will in no time cease to be in existence.

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  • Disagree. The typical consumer doesn't give a monkeys about sustainability. It was and always will be about product and a purchase relies on the quality in relation to what that consumer is prepared to pay.

    What the consumer says and what they ultimate do with that thought are two different things, which is why focus groups are misleading and therefore worthless.

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